UNI Panthers Ranked Ahead of 45 FBS Teams

By Mike Hlas, Reporter

Northern Iowa's Varmah Sonie (4) stops Wisconsin's Montee Ball (28) from getting into the end zone during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 26-21. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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By Kara Kelly

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- USA TODAY publishes the Sagarin Ratings, one of the components of the BCS formula.

It doesn’t have a prejudice when it comes to ranking all the Division I football teams. It mixes all 246 FBS and FCS teams.

In its updated rankings, Iowa State is 24th, Iowa 35th, and Northern Iowa 81st.

Strength-of-schedule is a significant component. Since UNI played Division II Central State Saturday, for the Panthers to be as high as 81st is a tribute to their competitiveness in a 26-21 loss at Wisconsin the week before.

UNI is the third-highest FCS team in Sagarin’s rankings, behind defending national-champ North Dakota State (55th) and Georgia Southern (78th). The Panthers are ranked ahead of:

Big East: 82. Connecticut, 85. Temple, 107. Pittsburgh

Big Ten: 90. Indiana

Big 12: 100. Kansas

ACC: 108. Duke

Pac-12: 91. Washington State, 153. Colorado

Three Mountain West, eight Conference USA and 10 Mid-American Conference teams are below UNI.

All told, 45 of the 124 FBS teams are ranked lower than the Panthers.

Iowa plays UNI this week, and Central Michigan next week. Central Michigan is 138th in the Sagarins.
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